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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

May 6, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Trainer
for Aspire Financial Services in FL

401(k) Administrator
for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates in ANY STATE, VA

401(k) Administrator/ Consultant
for Southfield Firm in MI

Sr. Implementation Consultant
for American General Life Insurance Company in TX

Benefits Tax Associate
for Boutique Employee Benefits Law Firm in DC

Corporate Counsel - Employee Benefits
for Marriott International Inc. in MD

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Webcasts and Conferences

Regional Event - New York City
May 8, 2013
(Women in Pensions Network) in NY

Regional Events - Chicago
May 13, 2013
(Women in Pensions Network) in IL

Fee Disclosure - One Year Later
May 16, 2013
(National Institute of Pension Administrators) WEBCAST

Community Pharmacists to Hold Media Call May 7, 11 A.M. On 2013 Legislative and Regulatory Priorities
May 7, 2013
(National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA)) WEBCAST

View All Webcasts and Conferences


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[Official Guidance]

Slides for Upcoming May 13 IRS Phone Forum on Results from Recent 401(k) Questionnaire (PDF)
28 presentation slides presenting questionnaire results and background on various topics, including 401(k) plan design and participation, sponsor use and understanding of EPCRS, the use of third party administrators, and types of plan documents. (Internal Revenue Service)


[Advert.]

Attend the Women Business Leaders Forum in Austin, June 10-13!

Sponsored by ASPPA

The Women Business Leaders Forum will focus on HR hot topics, business growth for succession or sales, social media, technology and TPA trends. It will be a mix of general sessions and roundtables with plenty of time to network with your peers.


[Official Guidance]

Text of Amendment to Final IRS Regs on Disclosure of Returns and Return Information to Designee of Taxpayer
"This document contains final regulations extending the period for submission to the IRS of taxpayer authorizations permitting disclosure of returns and return information to third-party designees. Specifically, the final regulations extend from 60 days to 120 days the period within which a signed and dated authorization must be received by the IRS (or an agent or contractor of the IRS) for it to be effective." (Internal Revenue Service)

S&P 1500 Pension Plan Funding Levels Slip 2% in April (PDF)
"After significant improvements during the first quarter of 2013, the pension plans sponsored by S&P 1500 companies suffered a setback during April, with the aggregate deficit increasing by $47 billion during the month, resulting in a $419 billion deficit as of the end of April 2013 ... The funded ratio (assets divided by liabilities) fell from 82% to 80%, which is still an improvement over the estimated 74% at December 31, 2012." (Mercer)

Lincoln Raises Prices Because Variable Annuity Sales Too High
"The company's VA business exceeds desired levels now, so further price increases have been announced: cutbacks in benefits offered to consumers. The expected result is a boost in second-quarter business but a slowdown in the second half of 2013.... [P]rice changes throughout the industry have not yet reached the point where consumers are discouraged from buying VAs." (On Wall Street)

Some Insurers Turn Away Variable Annuity Money
"At least five big insurers have advised annuity owners over the past 16 months they won't accept, or are restricting, additional money destined for older contracts with the richest guarantees. They're acting under fairly standard provisions of insurance contracts that give insurers such leeway, but which rarely, if ever, have been exercised in the past[.]" (The Wall Street Journal)

CalPERS Won't Refinance San Bernardino Debt
"The giant pension fund, alarmed by the unprecedented decision to stop making required pension contributions, is in no mood to give the city an easy out that might tempt other struggling local governments to take the same path. Restarting general fund pension contributions will not cause [CalPERS] to drop its opposition to San Bernardino's eligibility for bankruptcy[.]" (CalPensions)

Americans' Perspectives on New Retirement Realities and the Longevity Bonus
"[A]chieving peace of mind is seven times more important than accumulating wealth (88 percent and 12 percent, respectively) to adults age 45 and older ... [R]etirement has been redefined -- with people expecting to live and often work longer than any preceding generation, and taking different approaches to preparing for and living their best life during these years." (Merrill Lynch)

Top Five Ways Financial Professionals Can Boost Retirement Plans' Effectiveness for Employees (PDF)
"1. Define 'retirement plan success' as better retirement outcomes for participants.... 2. Use auto-enrollment and auto-escalation features to improve participation and savings rates.... 3. Help plan sponsors optimize the number of investment choices to improve savings rates.... 4. Advise on target-date solutions to help participants stay on track over the long term.... 5. Advise on structuring the company's matching contribution to drive savings rates to 10 percent or more." (Transamerica Retirement Solutions)

Participants Need a Retirement Income Plan
"[W]hile retirement plan providers and plan sponsors are offering information, calculators and retirement income products, this is not enough.... Participants need help understanding how their investment allocation should be different in the distribution phase than it was in the accumulation phase." (PLANADVISER.com)

State Employee Pension Reforms Pass Illinois House
"Employees would kick in 2 percent more toward their pension costs, with the increased contribution spread out over two years starting in July.... Minimum retirement age raised for those 45 and younger ... Cost-of-living increases would not start until a retiree has reached 67 or has been retired five years, whichever comes first." (Chicago Tribune; free registration required)

The Truth About Small Business Retirement Planning
"A small business is like a teenager in two ways: 1) You always love it, but you don't always like it; and 2) it always has its hand out for more money. And never is the second example truer than when you should be funding a retirement plan separate from future expectations from company assets." (Avik Roy, in Forbes)

Pension 'De-Risking' Strategies and Issues (PDF)
Webinar presentation slides. Titles include: Asset and liability-based strategies to de-risk defined benefit pension plans; Fiduciary considerations for de-risking strategies, including fiduciary issues relating to plan investments; Design and implementation considerations for de-risking strategies; and Lessons learned from 2012 de-risking activities. (Morgan Lewis)

[Opinion]

Canada Pension Plan Expansion: Signs Point to Trouble for All Canadians
"This plan would hike CPP benefits by 10 percentage points from 25% to 35% of maximum pensionable earnings (MPE), raise the MPE by $10,000 from today's $51,100 to $61,100, and implement all of this within 10 years.... Employees would pay up to $1,100 more a year in premiums. Employers would pay up to $1,100 more a year, per employee. The self-employed would pay up to $2,200 more a year (they must pay both shares of CPP)." (Financial Post)

[Opinion]

Is Expansion of the Canada Pension Plan Expansion Potentially Bad for Canadians?
"There is no doubt that expanding the [Canada and Quebec Pension Plans] will be involve raising contributions from employees and employers but they will be phased in over many years. More importantly, there is a huge cost of doing nothing, allowing more Canadians to slip through the cracks, falling into pension poverty." (Pension Pulse)

[Opinion]

MAP-21 Funding Rules Signal Kiss of Death for Pensions
"A little-known rule change that allows companies to contribute fewer dollars to pension funds is signaling just how meaningless the retirement vehicle has become. 'This proves that pensions are pretty much dead,' said Greg McBride, chief economist at Bankrate.com. The change is just another charade to mask the underfunding of pensions and increases the odds of having less money for retirement.'" (CNBC)

[Opinion]

Tough Vote on Illinois Pension Reform? Hardly
"Bottom line for current and future pension recipients: You'd still be getting a generous deal -- benefits that all of your friends in the private sector will subsidize, but far higher than what they'll receive from Social Security. You're still in a defined benefit retirement plan at a time when governments elsewhere are starting to shift toward defined contribution plans similar to 401(k)s.... The characterization of this bill as an attack on teachers and public sector workers is pure fiction." (Chicago Tribune)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]

Final Rules Require EIN Updates
"[F]ollowing the publication of the final regulations ... the IRS will publish a form for persons issued an EIN to use to disclose the correct application information to the IRS. The relevant form will require these persons to update application information about the name and taxpayer identifying number of the responsible party within the applicable time frame. The regulations apply to all persons possessing an EIN on or after Jan. 1, 2014 (which means the rules apply retroactively and not only to persons that applied for or were issued EINs after the effective date)." (Journal of Accountancy)

Equity Plan Proposal Failures, 2007-2012: Lessons to Consider (PDF)
"Overall, there were approximately 4,800 equity plan proposals submitted to shareholders of Russell 3000 Index companies for the period 2007-2012. Of these proposals, only 54 failed to be approved by shareholders.... [T]his report looks at the voting on these equity plan proposals and then focuses on the 54 proposals that failed to see what, if any, lessons can be learned." (ExeQuity and Alliance Advisors)

Executive Compensation Design: The Shift in Balance
"[M]ore and more companies have jumped on the bandwagon of using relative total shareholder return (TSR) as the key metric in their [long term incentive (LTI)] plans. TSR is now the most prevalent metric used in LTIs and, in fact, is the only performance measure used by over half of the companies studied in our annual proxy analysis. But, while TSR is clearly important, it's more of an outcome than a driver of company performance." (Towers Watson)

Press Releases

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